Chairperson: Judith De Witt
Introduced to English Country Dancing by Vic and Brenda Godrich, she began dancing at Thursday Beginners and has subsequently sought to make up for lost time by dancing from Staffordshire to Cambridgeshire and from Devon to Sussex. She served as Membership Secretary of the FCSH from 2014 and was elected Chairperson in 2016. When not engaged with ECD, she listens to early vocal music and opera and enjoys doing things with granddaughter Ada.
Secretary: Jen Gibson
My folk dancing life consists of three phases: A primary school event once a week for a few years; family ceilidhs in Scotland as part of our annual holiday for about 20 years; and finally and presently, learning to do it properly at Beginners Plus at Cecil Sharp House. This is where the enthusiasm really took off and has led me a merry dance (truly!) to Halsway, Broadstairs, Stonesfield and all points Playford since 2007. I became a co-opted committee member of FCSH in July 2016 and secretary in September 2016.
Other than dancing, I'm learning to play the piano, belong to a community choir and am routinely involved with three grandchildren. Most importantly I share my life with an intrepid whippet lurcher called Floss. We attend weekly agility sessions, where words like 'set' 'turn' and 'single' can mean something completely different!
I started dancing at CSH when I was 16 and have danced mainly there ever since as I have always lived close. As a member of the Whirligigs demonstration team led by Marjorie Fennessy, I was one of the fortunate dancers Pat Shaw used to trial some of his dances. Having started in the Beginners Class with Douglas Kennedy, I ended up leading the class until the end of July 2017. The sad death of my husband Vic two years ago has rather curtailed my calling activities and my knees have done the same for my dancing. Through my voluntary work for the Society in the 1980's, I realised what an asset Cecil Sharp House could be to the Society, if administered correctly, and set up the FCSH to help achieve that objective. I served on the then National Council of EFDSS and have been awarded the Gold Badge of the Society. I wrote the illustrated guide, 'The Building of Cecil Sharp House' (2009) and edited the volume 'Pat Shaw 1917–1977' (2010). I still believe that CSH is an asset to the EFDSS and should be used as intended by the Trust Deed.
Louise grew up surrounded by folk music and song, and started folk dancing seriously in 2008. British and American, she spends significant time in each country and dances regularly at Cecil Sharp House. She began teaching and calling folk and social dance in 2009. In the USA, she serves on her statewide traditional dance society's board, and is an active member of the Country Dance and Song Society, from which she received the Mary Judson/Brad Foster Award for English Dance Teachers in 2016. She believes that we should invest in the evolution and sustainability of folk traditions and their ongoing relevance to contemporary culture.